A good conversation

Suddenly they were everywhere: posters in bus shelters, banners on the internet and commercials on the radio about doctors and patients. I even saw 2 campaigns at the same time. The campaign of the patient who is looking for a doctor who (also) takes care of himself and who thinks of himself first. But I’ll save that campaign for later. I want to talk about that other campaign: the campaign about shared decision-making: ‘Hello doctor, hello patient’ of the Federation of Medical Specialists.

Deciding together sounds so logical, sounds so easy. But in practice it is terribly complicated. And in practice it happens much less often than initially thought: in particular, the step in which consideration is given to what is important for patients is skipped. Often because doctors think they know what is important for patients without the doctor asking or without the patient telling. And that is exactly what appeals to me about the campaign: the patient is also addressed. Because deciding together is deciding together.

Let’s practice. For patients, there are 3 questions that must be answered before shared decision-making: (1) what choices do I have?, (2) what will change in my life if I choose a treatment? And (3) what happens if we do nothing? With the help of these 3 questions to your practitioner, a good conversation will arise and you will automatically decide together. Fortunately, patients don’t have to go it alone: ​​for doctors, there are 4 questions they should ask themselves: (1) ask about the patient’s expectations, (2) ask what the patient considers important, (3) ask what the wants to continue doing during treatment and (4) ask how someone sees his future. Only when the answers to these 4 questions are clear can joint decision-making begin.

And for the doubters: deciding together is crucial. Because by making joint decisions, the satisfaction of both the doctor and the patient with regard to the consultation and the plan drawn up increases. Moreover, the chance that the plan will succeed is greater: after all, due to greater satisfaction and understanding, patients are less likely to throw in the glove if side effects arise or if the effect takes a while. And doctors will do their best to carry out the treatment as well as possible. In short, crucial.
For more tips about ‘A good conversation’ with your practitioner and for tips about making decisions together: www.begineengoedgesprek.nl and uses Olijfs 23 tips: https://olijf.nl/media/1/Documenten-en-folders/Folders/2021-Olijf-23-tips-website.pdf. Then the next conversation with your practitioner will undoubtedly be a good conversation!